Sanford Unveils Air Ambulance - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Sanford Unveils Air Ambulance

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Sanford Health in Bismarck will take flight with it's first air ambulance helicopter. It's joining the Sanford AirMed fleet of four helicopters and four planes now based in Bismarck, Fargo, Sioux Falls and Bemidji to serve rural areas.

"This is an extension to the hospital so we can reach out with our air craft and pick up critically ill or injured and bring them back to the hospital to that higher level of care," says executive director Michael Christianson, AirMed.

This two engine helicopter will serve patients within central and western North Dakota, and parts of South Dakota and Montana.  It can fly at 165 miles an hour, cutting travel time in half or more.

"It'll save time and sometimes not just getting to the hospital, it's getting our team to that patient and we can stabilize them," says Christianson.

The equipment you find inside the helicopter are what you'll find inside an Emergency Room or intensive care unit. The air ambulance can carry one patient to the nearest available hospital- and these seats are reserved for a highly trained team of flight paramedics and nurses

The pilots, ICU nurses and paramedics who man the air ambulance require several years of experience. Chief flight nurse Jerry Bushey has worked six years as an ICU nurse and says working in flight takes a lot practice.

"It's a fast pace and stressful environment. So you have to be on top of your game."

The AirMed Helicopter will be staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And can lift off within ten minutes of a call.

This two engine helicopter will serve patients within central and western North Dakota, and parts of South Dakota and Montana.  It can fly at 165 miles an hour- cutting travel time in half or more.

"It'll save time and sometimes not just getting to the hospital, it's getting our team to that patient and we can stabilize them," says Christianson.

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